As animal people, we naturally go above and beyond to ensure all canine and equine athletes receive the best treatment.

However, if someone does the wrong thing, there is no place for them in the racing community.

Our Rules of Racing are in place to protect all racing animals.

These are effectively laws that regulate the actions of all people in the sector and include rules on the care and treatment of racing animals.

In addition, racing is subject to the same legislation that governs welfare in Western Australia, the Animal Welfare Act 2002. By comparison the Rules of Racing are much more prescriptive, outlining the requirements for many different areas of horse and greyhound care. They can also be enforced strictly and rapidly, without reliance on the court system.

Severe penalties are applied to those who break the rules, including harsh fines and disqualifications. Stewards can impose fines of up to $100,000 or remove people from continuing to own or train racing animals through cancellations of licences or disqualifications (either permanently or for a period of time).

Here are just some of the rules that we have in place. To view the full Rules of Racing, click here.

No Acts of Cruelty

A person must not commit or commission an act of cruelty to a racing animal or be in possession of anything that is capable of inflicting cruelty to a horse or greyhound.

Rehoming

Like every athlete, racing animals deserve a rewarding retirement. In WA, there are rules in place that ensure industry must responsibly rehome racing animals once they retire from racing.

Veterinary Care

All racing animals must receive appropriate veterinary care both at the track and at home. A veterinarian is present at all race meetings and any horse or greyhound that presents signs of injury or illness is attended to for veterinary assessment.

Good Horsemanship

The housing, feeding and training of horses should be consistent with good horsemanship and must not compromise welfare. Any practices, whether in stables, training or racing which are inconsistent with contemporary standards of husbandry, are not tolerated. Stewards are authorised to, at any time, enter the premises where racing animals are kept, trained or race. This allows the welfare of equine athletes to be constantly monitored.

Code of Practice for Keeping of Racing Greyhounds

The ‘Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds in WA’ details the requirements for accommodation, training facilities, husbandry and transport of greyhounds. The Code is based on scientific knowledge and recommended industry practice and was developed in conjunction with experts in greyhound management, welfare and veterinary science.

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Appropriate Training Methods

Education and training methods, which unreasonably influence the normal behaviour of a horse or greyhound are not allowed, and this is something that is closely monitored. Racing animals are only allowed to be given training schedules, which are suited to their physical capabilities and level of maturity.

Gear and Equipment

There are strict rules in place around the type of gear or equipment that can be used on a racing animal to ensure their welfare is not compromised.

Ownership

All owners of racing animals must be registered (or licenced in greyhound racing), and any transfer of ownership must be lodged with the governing body Racing and Wagering Western Australia. This ensures that it is known who is responsible for an animal at all times.

Traceability

The location of all horses and greyhounds must be disclosed from birth to retirement. This includes if the animal goes to another property for time off or what is known as a ‘spell’ during their racing career.

Animal Registration

A horse or greyhound must be registered to be able to enter a race and they must be trained by a licenced trainer.

Eligibility to Race

If there are any health, fitness or safety concerns, or if there are any signs of an injury to a racing animal, they are not permitted to race. Stewards may impose a timeframe before the animal can race again.